Like many people today, I have little free time. From working at the library and attending graduate school, to spending time with my family and playing roller derby, I have few unscheduled, sporadic hours a week. Those precious few hours I spend knitting. Yes, you read that right. I knit. A lot. I am proud of it. There have been many studies that find knitting fights off depression, helps with motor skills, and prolongs cognitive function. I find knitting to be cathartic and a way of giving something personal to those special to me.
The Alamance County Public Libraries (ACPL) has a series of knitting books (and one for crocheters, too) geared toward my fellow yarn crafters who don’t have extended time to work on projects. One-Skein Wonders, a series edited by Judith Durant, focuses on such specialties as designer patterns or sock yarn, and contains dozens of patterns for all levels of knitters. The series contains a helpful glossary of skills and stitches, an in-depth index, a short guide to yarn weights, and a key for the abbreviations used in patterns.
I have used all the books in the series, and the newest edition is One-Skein Wonders for Babies: 101 Knitting Projects for Infants & Toddlers. Each edition is divided into sections based on the type of project, and this edition is no different. It has a section for sets, tops, dresses, and blankets, to name a few. There are projects that are practical; I have made the “Happy Hat,” a wavy basket-weave cap; a couple of “The Perfect Baby Bibs,” and a “Warm Heart Baby Vest,” a surplus-wrap vest. But, there are also adorably fun projects moms and babies will love – hand stitched dolls, multi-colored rattles, and ruffle-bottomed bloomers. I am currently working on the “Snowy Owl Blanket Buddy” for a baby boy due in April. It is a fun owl with tactile eyes and a circular blanket attached.
A local place to share your love of yarn crafting is the Mebane Library Knit Club. It meets the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 pm, and no membership or registration is required. Yarn crafters of all levels come to the monthly meetings, and the group participates in various volunteer projects throughout the year. They have made teddy bears for ACPL’s outreach program, face cloths for women’s shelters, hat and scarf sets for the county’s foster program, and are currently working on socks for veterans with amputations. You can join the volunteer project or bring your own project to work on. Give yourself an extra hour of free time to knit up a project from the One-Skein Wonders series, and join in the fun with the knit club.
Stephanie Steele is a Children’s Librarian at the Mebane branch of Alamance County Public Libraries. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (910) 563-6431.